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If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't! (Magnolia Says DON'T!) Hardcover – July 7, 2015
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Is Magnolia a rebel or natural leader? Readers will need to decide when this young avant-garde student brings an alligator to school for show and tell. In second person narration, readers are warned against bringing an alligator to school, as the text and illustrations use Magnolia and her mischievious alligator as examples of the havoc that such a creature can bring to a classroom setting. After the alligator chews gum in class, tries to eat a student, and shows funny pictures during the teacher's lesson, he is finally introduced during show and tell. When Magnolia reveals a surprising fact about alligators (they are only afraid of other alligators—and humans!), the troublesome creature makes a run for it. Magnolia, could be the sister of David, from David Shannon's picture book series, with her large round head, wide mouth, and wiry hair. Magnolia is as busy as the alligator and just as prone to tomfoolery. The endpapers continue the goofy fun. VERDICT This is an engaging debut picture book written in free verse will appeal to a wide age range. Here's hoping for more adventures with Magnolia!—Gwen Collier, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, NY
Praise for If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!:
[It] revels in the rampage of the id-here in the form of a formidable and toothy crocodilian. Elise Parsley's jaunty second-person narration is matched by comically expressive...artwork that seems to shout from the page."―Wall Street Journal
"Children are likely to get a kick out of Magnolia's not-quite-contrite tone and the colorful chaos her giant pet creates."―New York Times
"This is an engaging debut picture book [that] will appeal to a wide age range. Here's hoping for more adventures with Magnolia!"―School Library Journal
"Vibrant, imaginative, and spot-on funny."―Boing Boing
Top customer reviews
Most importantly, my 3-year-old daughter loves it. She is so excited because she already knows what's coming on the next page. And (you'll understand why if you get the book) she has been randomly shouting, "BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!" without warning.
Magnolia and her alligator never get old. That’s because their creator, Elise Parsley, made them so darn funny. As you turn the pages, follow the paper airplane; admire the colors, textures, and shadowing; read the names on the lockers and the facts on the blackboard; notice the classroom diversity, giggle at the alligator’s shenanigans; and count Magnolia’s teeth. You might accidentally learn something. I sure did.
Like the paint on page thirteen, Parsley mixes humor, mischief, and a dangerous supporting character with the universal school theme and stirs it to a satisfying circular end. Haven’t we all experienced the anxiety of show-and-tell? Haven’t we all feared that teacher?
Everything you see is a part of Parsley’s charming life and imagination--even the complementary font. And that’s why I'm sure you’ll love this book.
Anyone who disagrees deserves three checks by their name and an underline.
Artwork: 5 out of 5 stars
Characters: 5 out of 5 stars
The artwork and the writing of this book brings the characters to life. Any child, no matter what age, will enjoy seeing the hilarious antics of the alligator and the panicked responses of poor Magnolia who just wants to get to show and tell without her poor choice of a subject eating any of her classmates. Magnolia herself is very relatable for any young child in school who is just trying their best to stay out of trouble but can't quite seem to manage it--especially when the "pet" alligator is determined to make that dream impossible!
The book is endearing, funny, and makes you want to read it again and again. I will definitely have to check out other books by Elise Parsley because I know my seven-year-old niece and eight-year-old nephew will love this book!